Sweet Dreams

How Will Your Stone Multiply?

The other night I had a dream that the ‘Parker Trio‘ was touring throughout Canada.  At the same time we were on tour, Warren and I were in the process of moving into a small apartment.

We had a very busy schedule this raining day.  Warren’s family and the other members of P3 were helping us move into our new and very tiny dwelling.  An assembly line was quickly formed as box after box made their way up the winding stairs into the apartment on the top floor.  The rain was coming down hard, and we could see our new neighbors watching with curiosity through their windows as the boxes came off the bus.  We had just come from one concert performance and had to hurry because we were expected at another location in a couple of hours.  Time was of the essence!

Warren’s mom had a look of extreme concern as she watched me unpack some clothing items and place them in a child-sized wardrobe.  Everything about this already furnished dwelling was small.  The one room studio apartment was made up of old wooden floors and walls – a little dusty too.  The furnishings consisted of an antique looking bed with thin iron posts, and two small cabinets for personal items.  On one side of the cabinet was a series of four drawers and on the other adjoining side was a small wardrobe to hang the longer clothes.  The whole unit only stood about neck high to me, I’m a meager 5’3, and it stretched about four feet across.

Warren and I were smiling from ear to ear.  We were full of excitement, which was coming out of me in tiny giggles!  I was lacing a very valuable gem-stone necklace on a hook inside my credenza as Warren pulled a few other things from a box and handed them to me.  His mom could not keep her concern silent any longer, she asked to speak to him out in the hallway.  I watched as she expressed her concern for us choosing to live in such a place as this, but the smile remained strong on my face and in my heart.  Warren and I knew this home was temporary.  God gave us this promise at the very moment we put the pen to the paper to sign the lease.

You see, this dream is not about what was lost, but it’s about what is now found.  This dream is not about the sacrifices we made for ministry life, but it’s all about what has been gained in the process.  This is a dream full of what is most valuable – God’s word and each other.  Even now I am smiling as I share these thoughts with you.

It’s not hard to figure out the significance of knowing this tiny apartment was only to be temporary.  Each one of us are living in a temporary dwelling.  Our physical bodies will only last for a brief moment, but we have a promise that our perfect and permanent home awaits us when we cross from here into eternity.  Time as we know it is shorter than we care to acknowledge, so we need to make a conscious decision to appreciate and enjoy every moment.

The people who are lined up on the stairs lending a helping hand are all of you.  This is symbolic of the beautiful treasures I’ve obtained along this life’s journey – my priceless gems.  Gems that have created a necklace of great value.  Each precious stone is unique and yet somehow intertwined with the other.  As they touch, the color from one bleeds to the other, still it remains distinct – all its own.

Getting caught up in the everyday concerns of life, I often fail to remember that I do have a powerful impact on this generation and the ones to follow.  Every breath I breathe and every decision I make will cause a rippled effect in my life and in the lives of those around me.  Though I may not always see the outcome of my decisions right away, they are there and do have a great impact.  For this reason, I must be sure that the color of my stone filters the color of love into the precious stone of the person next to me.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” -Ezek. 36:26-27

My heart longs to bleed the love of the Father.  Even as I write this I am praying, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Show me the area’s in my heart and mind that still need to be transformed by Your light.  Keep my heart pliable to follow Your leading.

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

It might be a good idea for all of us to hang a plaque on the inside of our doors reminding us of this truth before we walk out into our everyday mission field.

Chapter 2 -Permission To Dream

6/20/2010
“Put Your Dream To the Test”  Chapter Two Thoughts.

Do I clearly see my dream?

I have written and re-written the answer to this question about five times now and not one of them seemed to resonate in my soul.  So, the answer to the question, “Do I clearly see my dream?”  is No.  I have been blind-sided by circumstances in life and a fog as set in making it really hard to have clarity at this time.  I do believe God has given me a glimpse of what He has for me, but the entirety of it remains hidden in Him.  The decision I have each day is to get up, seek God with every part of my being, and trust Him to lead me to the place He wills.  I’ve read a lot about the Israelites lately.  I am amazed at How God fed them daily while in the wilderness and their shoes never wore out.  For forty years they had enough food and their clothing never fell apart.  They were forced to trust God for their day-to-day needs.  Granted, they spent forty years in the wilderness because they refused to listen to God’s commandments, but still, God was faithful to provide.  I do not want to be like the Israelites while they were being disobedient and I certainly do not want to spend forty years going around the same mountain over and over again.  So today, I thank God for the manna from heaven and all the provision He’s granted me, and I trust He will fulfill all His promises for me as His child.  I also trust that someday soon I will be able to answer the previous question with a resounding, “Yes” that I do clearly see.

“Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for.”  ~Peter Marshall

I have been praying for this.  I am not going to simply become a realist because it seems hopeless given my present situation.  I have to believe that if God placed a desire in my heart, then He did it for a reason; because He is able to restore all that was stolen from me and more.  I am now giving myself permission to dream big!  I’ve stood face to face with gut wrenching disappointment, so what do I have to lose at this point if I choose to dream?

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There's Hope When You Least Expect It

Mike Hyatt is now the president and CEO of Thomas Nelson Inc.  Before he achieved these titles he was offered the job as lead publisher of the company.  Things could not have been worse in that division of the company when he stepped into the publishers role, “I took a deep breath and began to assess reality,” said Hyatt.  He then went on to list all that was wrong with the publishing department he had just taken over.  After his evaluation, he decided to write out a vision statement for the company.  For more information on Mike’s assessment and vision statement, see pages 24 & 27.

“What you need is a vision that is so big that it is compelling.”  ~Mike Hyatt

What’s not big and compelling about wanting a peaceful healthy home in our society today?  I have always been amazed at a true homemaker.  They are really hard workers and carry a massive weight of responsibility.  Many picture a “housewife” as a person who sits around eating dessert in the middle of the day watching soap operas and letting the house turn into a disaster area.  I get why people would think that, I’ve walked into a few of those landfills myself.  I’m thinking on a much greater level.  I’m thinking, no, I’m deciding, I want to be a person of integrity.  I want to be trustworthy, dependable, and capable to achieve the task at hand.  I love Dr. Phil’s take on the stay at home mom, “They work the equivalent of two jobs.”  Here’s a big, “Hip Hip Hooray” to Dr. Phil!

This chapter encourages you to make a list of goals.  Page 31 gives an example of general ideas and specific goals, then prompts you to get detailed with your own list.  I am searching my heart in this area.  I can get distinct with areas of this desire, but some of those specifics can only be fashioned and secured with a partners input.  I have to remain balanced in my thinking and not become immovable with the picture unfolding in my mind and in my heart.  On the flip side of this, I must be very firm in my foundation and absolutely anchored when it comes to certain beliefs.  Such as, with God’s help, I refuse to turn away from His principles and standards.  I can have the highest of expectations that my dream is possible, only if my heart and mind are being filled with His love and truth.  How can I expect a home of peace and love if Love Himself does not occupy the space?

Page 34, “I discovered that the more clearly I saw my dream the more clearly I was able to see my purpose.  That is true, I believe, because a person’s dream and purpose are intertwined.  God designed us to want to do what we are most capable of doing.”

I must determine my priorities involved with the hopes of my heart.  Who do I want to become?  This question must be answered before I can make my first list of specific goals.  It also must be a list that has room for growth because we always have room for improvement.   My “1st” on the list?  I want to become the woman of God that He’s created me to be.  I want to please Him.  This is my very first priority.  If I stay in-tune with God, I cannot fail.

“You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trust in You.” ~Isaiah 26:3

Being that I need to get really specific in my list, feel free to send me your views on what a true woman of God is.  I will search and study Scripture to make sure any ideas I pick up truly line-up with God’s word, but I am open to hear your thoughts.

“The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.”  ~Acts 16:14b I pray for God to open my heart to His truth alone, and I ask Him to keep me from the lies of the enemy; that He lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil.

~Shannan